The tiny house movement has really taken off. Many models are now available as tiny houses prefab units that are flat shipped to you for assembly.
This is inspiring a lot of people who want to downsize, declutter, and live a little further off the grid. There are designers and builders who specialize in these smaller homes on wheels.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits and challenges of tiny house living.
Tiny Houses Prefab (and not Prefab) Cost
The cost of a prefab tiny house varies depending on size, materials, and amenities.
A bare bones home with minimal plumbing and electrical, less than 200 SF, can cost as little as $6,000, or as much as $30,000.
Tiny homes with more SF, full kitchens, generators, and full plumbing can cost upwards of $60,000.
The higher end homes are likely to be fully insulated, have an electric or propane heating system, a working water toilet, and all modern kitchen appliances.
If you are going completely off the grid, you will save on utilities and water by using a wood burning stove for heat, solar or wind power for electricity, and a composting toilet.
For a little more comfort, you could have a propane powered generator for electricity and heat, and a water filtration system for recycling rain water.
With the generator, you will have to purchase fuel on a regular basis.
Challenges of Tiny House Off-the-Grid Living
The first challenge is that you must commit to getting rid of things that you don’t really need. Living with less may be hard at first.
A good way to downsize is to sell or donate anything you don’t need or won’t have room to store. Resist the temptation to rent a storage unit for stuff you may never use again.
Local zoning and building codes may be a hurdle you will have to jump over.
If you plan to assemble one of the many tiny houses prefab models, you may not be able to just park your home on wheels in a corner of a friend’s land or on land you purchased without permits and proper sewage disposal or a clean water supply.
Be diligent about checking with local authorities before you start the process.
The most obvious challenges are in living in a smaller space and dealing with everyday necessities. Here is a list of what may be everyday off-the-grid challenges.
- Stoking a wood burning stove
- Emptying a composting toilet
- Taking garbage and recycling to a transfer station
- Collecting and filtering water
- Picking up mail at a post office, if necessary
- Conserving utilities and water
Benefits of Tiny House Off-the-Grid Living
The benefits of tiny house living off the grid are many.
The most important is the sustainability of your green lifestyle. The second benefit is the cost savings. After your initial investment, you are free of rent, mortgage, and utility bills.
Lastly, your lifestyle will be so much less complicated without the burden of excess belongings and having to clean a larger space.
Is Tiny House Living for You?
If you are someone who wants to lessen your footprint on our fragile environment, then prefab tiny house living might be right for you.
The tiny house cost to build and maintain may be enough to peak your interest.
If you are considering this lifestyle, you can look into companies who manufacture tiny houses prefab to get started.
Or, if you are into DIY projects, many companies sell tiny house plans which you may assemble yourself.
Then, take stock of your belongings and start the editing process. Enjoy the adventure that lies ahead.